Das Bookslut had a bad comics-buying experience the other day, due to a preponderance of boobs, and it made me realize how much has changed since the crappy old days of wandering into Local Comic Book Store to buy Sandman trades. I know my Bendis and Simone now, I've read From Hell (twice!), I've been to Comic-Con... I'm an official comics nerd now, and as a result I'm no longer afraid to talk to the guys who work there. This has only taken about two years, and I've never gone so far as to ask their names or anything. But I do feel a sort of comfort in popping in and seeing the Stalwart Potato Guy, Guy Who Looks Like That Guy I Went To College With, and The Chick Who Isn't The Chick Who's Married to the Owner. The Chick Who Isn't The Chick doesn't work very often, though, and I find myself dealing more frequently with Potato Guy and College Guy. Who are lovely chaps.
A few Wednesdays back, I joined a few friends at LCBS for some browsing. There was nothing I needed to buy, but I'm very good at hanging out at a comic book store and talking to fellow nerds.
"Damn it," A said. "They don't have the new Planetary."
"It came out today?" I asked.
"Yeah. But it was sold out at the other place I went to. It's supposed to be great."
"You should go ask at the back," I said. "They tend to keep some copies in reserve back there."
He gave me a long, pointed look.
I got it. "You want me to go and ask, don't you?"
"Yes," he said.
So I smiled, and I went to the back of the store, and I leaned forward against the counter, and I asked real nice. And the guy rummaged through a box of extras and gave me a copy of the new Planetary.
Later, over drinks, I told A the story of how one day they were out of the new issue of Birds of Prey, and I asked real nice, and College Guy pulled a copy for me from someone's reserve box, as he knew the someone in question wouldn't be picking up their stuff until after the reorder had come in.
"That's so wrong!" A exclaimed.
"But the guy said it was okay!" I protested. "And I was leaving town the next day!"
"Liz, that's using your powers for evil, and not for good."
But I get ogled at conventions, I get patronized when I ask questions, and it's taken me two years to find some acceptance within this strange crazy subculture. So I disagree.